T5 Med School Dropout to Tele-Health Founder

Luke Versweyveld
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Today's Startup Founder of the Day is Myra Ahmad, Co-Founder

Today's Startup Founder of the Day is Myra Ahmad, Co-Founder of Mochi Health

Last February, Myra was a T5 MD candidate interested in vascular surgery. Now, she is a med school dropout revolutionizing obesity tele-health.

She came to realize that most vascular patients had fallen through the cracks of the traditional healthcare system. What often started as a few minor health problems in their 40s went uncontrolled and had escalated. Many of these patients now required heartbreaking life-or-limb amputations.

As she did more research in this space, she realized that many patients had repeated and unique pain points with their providers pressuring them about their lifestyle and weight:

  1. Doctors can be extremely fat-phobic and ultimately undermine their relationship with patients. Despite FDA-approved medications and treatments existing for obesity medicine since the 1960s, only 0.2% of indicated patients are ever provided treatment.
  2. We know evidence-based methods are the most sustainable way to lose weight. However, there just isn’t access. For Seattle, a city of 2.1M people, there are only 3 obesity medicine centers. These clinics are hidden in the back of large academic bariatric surgery centers.
  3. Good medicine is structured as a relationship built between doctor and patient. Current tele-health practices operate as a “1-click to request medication” system. But any provider will tell you (as will Mochi's data) that most patients aren’t after one specific medication. They are trying to find a solution to their problem. Good care comes from a provider who will listen.

Good care comes from a provider who will listen

Myra realized that by building a successful startup to tackle this problem, she would be able to have a greater impact than a career as a physician. So, she dropped out two months before graduation.

Myra is joined by her Co-Founder, Pratyusha Gogulapati, CTO of Mochi. Her passion for Mochi came from her own personal health issues. Despite having great health insurance and living in a large city, it took months of referrals and waiting to find a provider in obesity medicine who was focused on evidence-based care.

That’s what Mochi is looking to solve: their mission is to provide subspecialty obesity medicine care via tele-health to the 180 million U.S. adults struggling with their weight.

Mochi wants to offer the same customizable approach incorporating sleep therapy (CBT-i), counseling, registered dietitians, and fitness coaching as an in person clinic. All done over video call.

Mochi patients establish long-term relationships with their providers to build a treatment plan.

About Mochi

Mochi Health is a tele-health company for customizable, evidence-based obesity medicine.

Patients can rapidly complete eligibility and are then given recommendations from Mochi's range of services:

  • Obesity medicine providers
  • Prescription medication
  • Nutrition coaching from licensed RDNs
  • Fitness coaching
  • + more!

Patients can schedule visits with all of these providers virtually. Mochi's goal is to provide all of the same evidence-based strategies of obesity medicine clinics on a tele-health platform.

In a few short months, they have already crossed 5,000 signups.

How You Can Help

Sign up today. If you are interested in signing up, visit the Mochi website and complete the eligibility form.

You’ll hear back from the Mochi team in less than 24 hours.

Advice to Fellow Founders

Try stuff! It doesn’t matter if people think you’re completely crazy. If you have an idea, write it down, do some research, and try building it!

A lot of high-growth companies were really just about building the most simple version of a product, and then working with customers as much as possible to really focus on their pain points and build a solution around that.

Before making this company, I can’t even begin to tell you how many completely crazy ideas I worked on, primarily as side projects. I tried getting the Washington State Public Health Department and a Pediatric Infectious Disease attending at UW Medicine to get me a ton of intranasal flu vaccine to see if people could self-administer these.

I once had a mission to build 100% of the furniture in my apartment– which led to me using a 9x19 street parking space in downtown SF as my workshop (and actually a somewhat nice sectional!)

Most recently, I decided I actually can’t stand stairs so I installed a 30ft climbing rope to get to my bed. This was only because I was dissuaded from using a trampoline directly under a ceiling fan.

- Myra Ahmad

Congrats to our Startup Founder of the Day, Myra!

Please support our Founder by sharing her story with your audience.

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Luke Versweyveld
Founder of Startup Founder Daily and Flintworks. Husband, lawyer, and vino 🍷